This week there has been something in the air, for some that has been love, as several of my friends have become engaged or married, but for others it has not been so kind, meaning their relationships have broken down, ending in separation or divorce. This has meant that several of my friends have asked me a simple question – how does separation or divorce affect a will? Because of this I thought it would be helpful to explain how these these life events can have an effect on your Estate Plan, and what you need to do next to secure your assets!
As I have seen this week not all couples have a happy ending, with a number of my friends separating from their husband or wife within the first ten years of marriage. If you have split from your partner, it is time to change your Will. There is a good chance that your Will is no longer appropriate and you may not feel like you want your ex-partner to benefit from your estate.
If you are part of a married couple, and you have split up then if you don’t change your Will, you still inherit from each other’s estate even if you are no longer living together. Even worse, if your ex has entered into a new relationship, then their new partner could also get some of the benefit. If you don’t want your former spouse/partner to inherit from your estate, then you MUST change your Will.
It is a fact of life that some relationships don’t work out – the courts tell us that 42% of marriages end in divorce. Most couples don’t want this to happen, but when it does it causes all kinds of problems, especially where there are children. If your marriage comes to end, your Will does not become always become invalid, like it does after marriage. However, any provision made for your spouse will fail, meaning anything that your partner was to get will no longer happen and will be distributed instead to anybody else named in your Will. If you had chosen to leave everything to your spouse then you will be considered to have died intestate, and the rules of intestacy will apply.
If your spouse was named as an executor, trustee or guardian in the Will then it is vital that you change it as soon as you are divorced – because these conditions are still valid.
Relationships form an important part of your life, and it is important that your Will reflects your situation.
If you have recently got married, separated or divorced and want to review and update your Will, please complete the form below and we will
be in touch!